19 Jan 2021


How We Create Rebellious Minds And Warriors At Home And School

To solve the puzzle of why wars or rebellions in South Sudan and in the world, you need to go down the road to how these soldiers, police officers, governors, presidents etc. were brought up as children and start solving from there.

By Sallah SJ Lasu

Sometimes I ask myself: why there are so many wars in south Sudan, Africa and in the world? It is a question that can never go without emotions attached to it by those who experienced the wrath of violence day by day. It finds no fitting answers and most scholars sometimes get into many conclusions according to their understanding of the question.

But is the answer really necessary? I would say not as necessary as the solutions to the answer. If you say it’s because of poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, social classes and religious beliefs that lead to wars, then why is it hard to throw a solution at them?

Maybe it is our human nature to be violent. But why other humans are not? Maybe somebody just loves fighting. But why would a human love to be violent yet when injured he/she cries out for help? The puzzle to why the violence and the rebellious mind goes on to generations.

I have been thinking of an answer, which I believe many psychologists and philosophers will agree with me that it contributes greatly to the rebellious mind. It’s child abuse.

I grew up in South Sudan and Uganda. I lived the reality of the how children are brought up in these two countries. When I look back at those parents who were good at beating and scolding their children, whom I believe were doing it in the name of love or fear of bringing up children that the society might judge them to be spoilt; made me think twice about the civil wars. The way most children are raised up must be the major factor leading to the too many rebels in the world and South Sudan in particular.

Kids are brought up under strict measures and rules just like those at the military barracks and training centres. When a child commits a mistake, he/she is beaten up. Some would use sticks; others use their elderly fingers that have been hardened by so many hot lumps of food to knock the child’s head.

I had a neighbour that pulls the ear and you would see the child crying while trying to grow to the height of her mom even if it means standing on his/her toes. Whatever mistake you make amounts to beating or scolding.

This child either becomes shy if he/she develops fear to make mistakes in his speech or this child grows stubborn just to make sure that he/she has someone to beat too as he is used to being beaten and now enjoys hurting others. He/she ends up copying the same style of dealing with disappointments: Beating and scolding.

Therefore, when another child younger or physically smaller than him/her, does a mistake or accidently hurts him/her, he immediately beats that child. So he/she has learnt that violence is the way to solve problem or the way to correct mistakes that we see in others.

As the child grows he perfects himself in this art, each time he punishes whoever is younger or he thinks he can overpower physically. And the society became organized in that way: the younger or the weak cannot make what may be perceived as a mistake in the presence of the strong or the elderly.

Some fear to do something just due to fear if being bitten or punished in case it turns out erroneous. I call this the shy group, who are so often mistaken to be obedient and respectful individuals.

Therefore, I can say that we taught our children that violence is the way to solve our problems or disappointments; which can be translated in a way that if you do what I consider a fault or disobedience to me, you deserve some beating to stop you from acting that way.

If my parents will do something I don’t like, I will have to beat them up or run away in case I can’t physically give them some doses of beatings. This is taught at home. How about at school?

Same method is being encouraged at school; right away from primary to secondary level. The first day I went to school, I was given some strokes of cane for late coming. Though it did not hurt me as we were many, it was a bad welcome. It was part of the school measures to punish the pupils whenever they commit a fault.

Even telling a wrong answer is equated to some beating or scolding. So pupils fear to raise their hands to tell answers due to fear.

Failing an exercise or examination is like you shit on your body. There you earn some clean canes or if you are lucky that you have some medical conditions that guard you from being caned then you qualify for manual labour.

So the child again is introduced to the same methodology by people outside his/her house. The teachers pity nobody; when you did something wrong, just lie down and wait your canes. The child at this level now gets the whole ideology very clear.

Some even are made prefects and class monitors at school and now legally allowed to administer same medicine taught by their masters. In fact they are doing their internship.

Those students with no jurisdiction to beat, exercise bullying or what I call on-way-home-fighting. You take advantage of those who are new and beat the hell out of them.

And when a colleague offends you in class, you just keep quiet and plan how you are going to beat him/her. When the bell rings to part for home, you make sure you are the first to lead that road such that your target escapes not.

I did that four times because I was the prey, and I had just two options: to fight or to allow myself to be caned obediently.

But that God, in all the cases I won two and drew two. One draw was with some girl on our way home from Bereka primary school in Lainya County in which she attacked me just because someone told her in the class that I said that I was her husband yet I never did.

In fact, I was childishly chasing people with stones on my chest for saying that she was my girlfriend. To shorten that story, she later became my good friend when she learnt that I didn’t say what she was told.

Let’s get back to the teachers such that you don’t have enough to judge me on. Some teachers have fallaciously pasted into their vocabulary and happily practice the colonial time teachers’ phrase: An African child learns by beating. This is what the colonizers and imperialists want for your children; to destabilize your existence tomorrow so that they will continue to milk your resources for centuries.

So today this child is now an adult;
This child today is a police officer, a soldier; a B court judge, a commissioner, a Member of Parliament, the chief of staff of the army, the vice president, president etc.
Hope you understand what this child is capable of.
Hope you get my answer to why there is violence in South Sudan, Africa and the world.
Hope you get my point on why the police brutality in the world.
Hope you get one of the reasons why it is hard for a south Sudanese police officer to arrest a thief or a suspected criminal without beating him up.
Hope you understand why police in Kenya can slap or beat anybody who insults them.
Hope you understand why in Uganda you can easily be thrown into that police pick up and your head pressed down with those hard jungle boots just because you support the opposition.
Hope you now understand why south Sudanese have the saying: there are people who went to school and still behave arrogantly like illiterates with all their masters’ honours and doctorates.

I hope you got a clear picture of what I am saying. When they say stop child abuse, it is not for nothing. That may mean nothing to you today as you only focus on the immediate result (obedience) which only counts as long as you are still physically strong, but tomorrows result is fatal to the nation and the world.

To solve the puzzle of why wars or rebellions in South Sudan and in the world, you need to go down the road to how these soldiers, police officers, governors, presidents etc. were brought up as children and start solving from there. Some nations where children are protected from violence at home or schools are reaping some peace.

Don’t misunderstand me say that all children brought that way are violent. Some have learnt how to manage their emotions and got less or none violent; but they will not tolerate anyone who will mistake their breasts or testicles to be balls. Under this circumstance, I am sure they will apply their home cooked method. All can gradually change when you teach them how to unlock these chains of violence in them; but trust me it won’t be simple because some have normalize it.

In my conclusion, I would say that the society created the warlords and the dictators of today and now is the same society complaining and crying for peace. Keep beating up those children at home and at schools as long as you beg to continue to be ruled by dictators or to be at wars always. And if you want peace tomorrow, then do the opposite. God bless South Sudan

Sallah Stephen J Lasu,
5th year Medical student at University of medical sciences,
Santiago de Cuba.

Email: sallahlasu@gmail.com

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